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Angry Guard Dog

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You ain't getting that ball back anytime soon.
"Smithers, release the hounds."

Going into your neighbor's yard is a death wish. The milkman, the mailman, even the Kid Hero who lost his Frisbee disc doesn't want to go in there, because the Cranky Neighbor or the Retired Monster has an Angry Guard Dog to prevent anyone from foiling his Evil Plan.

Most of the bigger breeds of dog have been used for security jobs, especially Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. You also have different types of dogs that are supposed to guard whatever, such as a watchdog (who is simply required to bark, so even Mister Muffykins would do), a guard dog (who merely has to look imposing, like a Mastiff) and an attack dog (who has to be athletic and very trainable). Your stereotypical Angry Guard Dog, on the other hand, is all three. It looks intimidating, and if you enter its territory it will bark, but only on the way to mauling you. This dog's bite is every bit as bad as its bark.


And since dogs are dangerous predators that will crush your bones, thus they are a perfect pet for a Card-Carrying Villain.

Ironically, few Angry Guard Dogs are pitbulls. This has less to do with emulating realism and dodging current stereotypes than with indicating the old age of this trope. Bull terriers were highly regarded during the World War II era, and considering current media trends, no one wants to really highlight them in an opinionated way. And strangely enough, while bulldogs tend to be used in media for this trope, they tend to be one of the worst suited breeds for guard dogs in real life, due to their amiable disposition and poor athletic ability.

A pack of these (usually three or more, and usually feral dogs) is standard issue for any scrapyard or vehicle impound lot, while any Supervillain Lair worth its salt will have them chained up and ready for the Big Bad to snarl "release the hounds".


Nowadays, the trope is mostly found in cartoons. They occasionally subvert it, showing the dog is a big softie and/or coward if confronted, with the Aesop that a bully's bark is always worse than his bite. However, if its cowardice shows its Undying Loyalty to the villains, the dog is a Dirty Coward instead.

See also Right-Hand Attack Dog, Beware of Vicious Dog, Villain Holds the Leash and Hellhound (if a Hellhound is also an Angry Guard Dog... be very, very afraid).

Contrast Big Friendly Dog (although this Trope can overlap when their friend is the one they're guarding), Incompetent Guard Animal, They Have the Scent!, and Jealous Pet. Neutralized by Scare the Dog. Sometimes named Fluffy.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Berserk, Guts is represented as a massive, black, three-legged dog within Casca's inner mental state, fiercely defending the last remnants of her sanity that is locked within a metal coffin.
  • Eyeshield 21: Cerberus tends to maul anyone getting close to him, a bonus in the manga reveals that he isn't a pet though: it's a really aggressive wild dog that hangs around Hiruma to get food.
  • Ginga Densetsu Weed: In the first episode (and first part of the manga), GB encounters a guard dog at the very beginning of the series. He and his friend Sasuke run afoul of the guard dog later when he catches them catching ducks on his territory, and he nearly kills Sasuke before Weed comes to his rescue. He also briefly fights Weed and GB as well before Smith arrives and scares him into hiding.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: One episode has Batou get cornered by a pack of angry robot guard dogs. He's forced to beat a hasty retreat before he can hack their systems and make them think he's their owner.
  • While a hawk and not a dog, Pet Shop from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders serves this purpose for Dio.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Thanks to childhood naivete, a young(er) Negi believed that getting in trouble will make his superhero-like Disappeared Dad appear. So one of the things he did was cut the leash of a snarling bulldog and have it chase him.
  • One-Punch Man:
    • On the heroes' side, this is the gimmick of Watchdog Man. Specifically, he's a hero who dresses in a white dog suit and often acts as a dog... Complete with slaughtering any monster stupid enough to appear in the city he has declared his territory. This has the downside that he won't chase enemies out of the city limit, as Garou found out when he thought he could take him on and survived only because he decided to run and managed to cross the city limit, at which point Watchdog Man let him go.
    • On the monsters' side, this is the purpose of Overgrown Rover of the Monster Association, being their guard dog that patrols their base for any intruders. The catch is that Rover is a massive muscled beast with six eyes, massive jaws, enough firepower to blast through the entire underground base and cause earthquakes, tough enough to tank attacks from everyone that isn't Saitama or Awakened Garou, and is considered a Dragon-class level Monster (as in, the same rank as the strongest members of the Monster Association).
  • In the Pokémon mini movie "Pikachu and Pichu" and in some other specials, one of the Pichu brothers' enemies is a Houndour. Yes, a Houndour. And that Houndour chases the Pichu brothers many times, and sometimes gets flattened by a Snorlax. One time, the Houndour ended up beating up Meowth after Meowth stepped on the Houndour's head.
    • Houndour in general tend be given this sort of personality in the anime, usually if it's a Lower-Deck Episode focusing on the Pokémon rather than the humans.
  • 3×3 Eyes act II: while in China, Pai is introduced to the "monstrous" dog of an antiquity store owner: said dog is a massive spotted beast almost as big as Pai and can eat canned food without bothering to have it extracted from the metal tin first. Yakumo uses it to threaten Zhou Gui (who, keep in mind, is a demon) and later proves strong enough to injure the demoness Lang Bao Bao with his bites (though he's killed after landing the first bite).
  • In one chapter of Sgt. Frog, the Hinata family goes to visit Aki's mother, and the Keronians tag along. At one point Keroro goes to retrieve a softball that's landed next to a sleeping dog (who's apparently named "The Reaper"). Before Fuyuki can warn Keroro that dogs in rural communities aren't usually kept on leashes, Keroro finds this out the hard way and gets chased across the countryside.

    Comic Books 
  • Krypto the Superdog in one incarnation. The temperament of an Angry Guard Dog and the powers of Superman = pain.
  • In the Italian Funny Animals comic Lupo Alberto (Alberto the Wolf), the Mackenzie Farm is defended by an ill-tempered sheepdog named Moses. Besides serving as the farm's manager and most consistent voice of authority, he also protects it from intrusions (chiefly those of the titular Alberto when he tries to sneak in to woo his girlfriend Marta-or, more rarely, to eat the chicken) with liberal use of baseball bats, shotguns and bear traps.
  • Brazilian comic Monica's Gang has Rúfius, "the angriest dog in the world". A story shows part of his motivation are people who spell his name wrong.
  • Red Robin ends up having to deal with some genetically enhanced attack dogs and their metahuman owner since they're the night guards of a museum in Germany he went to "borrow" some evidence from and his attempt to sneak away was ruined by help from the League of Assassins, meaning he had to try and save the lives of the particularly vicious museum guards.
  • Spider-Man: Caryn Earle, Peter Parker's attractive neighbor and Romantic False Lead (in the past when Mary Jane returned to Los Angeles) had a bulldog that really don't like Peter.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • In "The Survivor," Petey is vigorously protective of Mittens and his master Darnell when Jack threatens them. He's otherwise shown to be very personable and friendly.
    • In "The Mall," Bolt barks furiously to scare off the manager of Spender's Gifts when the latter tries to capture the lost Mittens and collect the reward for her return.
    • In "The Marching Song," Bolt's protective instincts and righteous anger are forcefully and poetically expressed.
  • The Calvin and Hobbes: The Series episode "Eggs for Calvin!" has Spike, presumably named after the Tom and Jerry character who fulfills a similar role.
  • The Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons family of Ankh-Morpork has a tradition of large family pets. Mum Johanna, an Assassin by profession and a zoologist by inclination, kept a unique pet cat in her rooms at the Assassins' Guild.note  She took two pet puppies into marriage with her. Two dogs which on our world would be Rhodesian Ridgebacks.In the fullness of time, two new pet puppies replaced them. Boerboels, this time. note . Both sets of dogs are gentle, loving and affectionate - and death on four paws to anyone threatening Johanna or her daughters. Read more in the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal.

    Films — Animation 
  • Played with in The Adventures of Tintin (2011) where Tintin is attacked by a giant rottweiler outside of Marlinspike hall who becomes docile and friendly as soon as Snowy loyally leaps out in front to defend Tintin. The dog continues to be comical and friendly throughout the rest of the film.
  • Napoleon and LaFayette from The Aristocats. They're a pair of unintelligent dogs who for some reason both hate Edgar. Their dialogue suggests that they attack anyone who comes close to their farm.
  • Over the Hedge subverts this: a big, scary-looking rottweiler by the name of Nugent is dangerous because he's a hyperactive Gentle Giant who just wants to play but doesn't know his own strength.
  • The multi-headed dog in Yellow Submarine looks like it could make Cerberus cower and whimper. It turns out to be no match against the Beatles.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns, Booth has one on the grounds of his estate that catches Holmes the first time he breaks in. The second time, Zapper uses an ultrasonic projector to send the dog scurrying.
  • Played straight in Babe where Rex did not like Babe, though he would eventually come to respect and help him out. And the dogs that attacked Maa are portrayed as such. But subverted with Fly, who adopted Babe.
  • At the end of the first Beethoven movie, Dr. Varnick's two goons escape from the dogs chasing them for revenge by jumping over a fence towards a junkyard. Big mistake: turns out the junkyard is guarded by a small pack of very angry Dobermans, who proceed to maul them. This is a Brick Joke to the beginning of the movie, when a punk woman inspects Beethoven as a puppy and asks if he's going to be a good guard dog for her junkyard.
  • The Boys from Brazil: The dobermans that are ordered to attack Josef Mengele.
  • The Confirmation: Subverted, a woman who mistakes Walt for a burglar claims to have one, and they run when they hear barking, but really she's just playing a recording.
  • In Crooked House, the Leonides family keep two trained attack dogs on the property that Eustace is especially close to. They catch Charles when he is snooping around the treehouse and maul him slightly. Lady Edith claims this proves they like him, as they could easily have killed him.
  • In Cruella, Baroness Hellman keeps Dalmatians as guard dogs at her estate, which are responsible for Estella's mother's death
  • The Dark Knight: First bandits, then the Joker, sic angry dogs at Batman and even Bats has quite some trouble fending them off. They're big dogs however (Rottweilers), and in the second instance the Joker has probably made them even more vicious than they already were under the Chechen's ownership (feeding them human meat, among other things, though it seems likely that their dietary habits started with the Chechen given his introduction for them).
  • In Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Marylee is mauled by an angry guard dog when he sneaks into a garden to look at the fountain. This event is what sets the plot in motion.
  • In Date with an Angel, Jim and the angel get attacked by a dog, but she looks into its eyes and charms it into acting like a playful puppy. Unfortunately for Mr. Winston, the effect wears off after she leaves, and the dog bites his butt. Later, Mr. Winston runs into the dog again, and he goes Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
  • Don't Breathe: One of the two antagonists in the film is the Blind Man's vicious Rottweiler.
  • In Fantozzi (both book and movie adaptation) Fantozzi is invited to a ball in a villa, but has trouble with the countess' guard dog, a huge and menacing Great Dane called Friedman (Ivan the Terrible the 32nd in the movie) who threatens him and his friend and tries to bury Fantozzi alive in the garden. In the book he even waits for them outside the house, forcing them to stay longer than expected. In both media, it ends up chasing Fantozzi's car all the way home and laying siege to the parked car for an entire week, forcing Fantozzi to sussist on food delivered by his wife from the balcony using a basket on a rope.
  • In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Principal Rooney discovers to his misfortune that the Buellers' family pet is a large Rottweiler.
  • Fletch has the title character encounter one of these while snooping around at a construction site. Quick thinking enables him to distract it by yelling, "Look, defenseless babies!"
  • The family dog in the Dutch Flodder movies constantly attacks newspaper boys and many other people.
  • In The Freakmaker, Prof. Nolter keeps a pack of angry Alsatian guard dogs on the grounds of his house to discourage nosy visitors.
  • in Headhunters, Clas brings a vicious dog with him (a Dogo Argentino. This breed is considered dangerous and banned in Norway) when he goes hunting Roger at the cabin. Roger ends up getting in a fight with a dog in the barn.
  • The Highwaymen. Frank Hamer has a guard boar! Though his wife is none too fond of it.
  • The Kentucky Fried Movie. While sneaking around Dr. Klahn's headquarters Loo encounters a guard dog. After it barks at him he gives it a Dope Slap for not being convincing.
  • Lethal Weapon 3 deconstructs the trope as Martin Riggs placates a rottweiler guard dog with dog biscuits, then de facto adopts him.
  • In The Lost Boys, Thorn appears friendly when he's accompanied by his human, but turns into this trope when anyone tries to trespass in his yard. He's been trained to be this way.
  • Never Cry Werewolf: Jared has a viscous dog that is just as mean as he is and serves as the secondary antagonist. It turns out to be a demon dog disguised as a real dog.
  • The Night Flier: After Dees investigates a murder site, he's menaced by an angry black dog (implied to be the vampire in disguise) before it seems to teleport back to the spot where it was sitting.
  • In the 1980s Henry Winkler movie Night Shift, the rather nebbish and timid main character is shown to be frequently tormented by a neighbor's dog who relentlessly pursues him through the apartment complex where he lives, barking furiously. It's a sign of Character Development towards the end when he finally gets fed up and bellows "Go home!" as it's bounding towards him... and it slinks away with its tail between its legs.
  • In Nobody's Fool, Carl has one of these guarding his snowblower. However, after Sully drugs the dog with some painkillers (which he slips into some hamburger), he becomes much more docile.
  • In P2, the heroine is attacked and bloodied up by her kidnapper's Rottweiler, until she manages to kill it with a tire iron.
  • Raising Arizona: While fleeing from police, Hi stumbles into the backyard of a home guarded by a dog on a leash. It lunges at him, but its leash is just short enough that it snaps at air a few inches from Hi's face.
  • In The Ref, after Gus inadvertently trips the alarm of the house he's trying to rob, he ends up having to deal with one of these (named "Cannibal", of course).
  • In Run for the Sun, Browne and Von Andre keep a pack of savage dobermans in the their compound to stop their 'guests' from trying to escape.
  • Sallah Shabati: Sallah, scrounging for money, sees an ad for a lost dog. He brings the worried couple an angry guard dog that is the wrong color, the wrong sex, and at least three times too large, and then he demands a reward.
  • The Sandlot has a subversion in "The Beast," a Mastiff that is shown to have a collection of balls that kids have knocked into its domain and given up for lost. A good chunk of the movie revolves around the kids various efforts to get back a ball signed by Babe Ruth that went into its yard. It turns out at the end of the movie that The Beast is actually a nice dog. He just doesn't like to give up stuff that it finds in the yard unless his owner tells him to.
  • In Satan's Cheerleaders, Sheriff Bubb has a pair of vicious guard dogs named Diablo and Lucifer who he uses to guard the cheerleaders he is hold prisoner for sacrifice. His wife later sends them to kill the cheerleaders.
  • In Sheitan, Crusty Caretaker Joseph has a vicious guard dog named Cerberus. The name is not ironic (or coincidental).
  • Clyburn has one as part of his arsenal to terrify the sorority sisters in Sisters of Death.
  • One appears in Stand by Me (and the original Stephen King novella The Body), though it turns out his fearsome reputation is somewhat overblown.
  • Tomorrowland: Frank has one — or so it seems. It turns out to be a very convincing hologram created with technology from Tomorrowland. Casey figures it out when she notices it has no shadow.
  • Sam faces two of the junkyard breed in Transformers. They can rip their chains out of the concrete!

  • Older Than Feudalism: In Classical Mythology:
    • Cerberus is the three-headed guard dog of the Underworld, assigned to prevent the dead from leaving, as well as making sure living people don't try to slip into the Underworld to visit, or worse yet, rescue dead loved ones or dead prophets. It's always a big deal when someone like Orpheus, Hercules or Aeneus finds a way to get around him.
    • Orthus, Cerberus' lesser known two-headed brother. He's best known for being the guard and herd dog of the fabulous red cattle of the triple-bodied monster Geryon, and is, according to the poet Hesiod, the father of his siblings, by his mother Echidna, the Chimera, the Sphinx, the Hydra, and strangely, the Nemean Lion.
  • Garm the Hound of Hel from Norse Mythology, guards the gates of the underworld until Ragnarok.

  • A small-town, rural veterinarian is elected in a second capacity as the town sheriff. He gets a phone call from Farmer Johanssen at 2am. "You better come down to my property right away." The bleary man is getting dressed and asks in what capacity the farmer needs him — sheriff or veterinarian. "Both," says Farmer Johanssen. "A prowler tried to break into my barn and my hunting dog won't let go of him."

  • The Andromeda Strain mentioned a rather creepy version in passing: vicious guard dogs who had undergone laryngectomies, so they couldn't make any bark. You'd never hear them coming until they were already tearing your throat out.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Rogues in the House," Nabonidus has a guard dog that has been known to tear apart intruders.
  • In the Discworld novel Going Postal, when Moist von Lipwig is undergoing initiation into a secret society of postmen, part of the training is to get past some of these (a natural enemy of postmen everywhere). Concluding that they are Lipwigzers, a very popular guarding breed hailing from his hometown, he briefly dominates them by giving them commands in a stern voice. Played for Laughs after the dogs are led out, and Moist finds out they were whelped and raised in the city, so his commands in Uberwaldian should not have worked. Seems Moist is just that good of a Con Man.
  • In the Foundation prequel series novel "Foundation's Fear", when Hari and Dors are in the jungle, their minds trapped in chimpanzee bodies, Hari crosses the compound and encounters several genetically enhanced guard dogs who immediately attack upon seeing him (as a chimp).
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Fluffy is a gigantic three-headed dog who is guarding a trapdoor.
    • Marge Dursley breeds bulldogs, with a particular fondness for a vicious one named Ripper that has attacked Harry and once trapped him in a tree for being in the same yard as it.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, the dire hounds. Since their keeper is Imfray's friend, he, Roane, and Imfray's rescuers are hidden in a shed behind their pen.
  • In Baynard Kendrick's novels, blind detective Duncan Maclain has two dogs. One is a harmless seeing eye dog, the other an attack dog. Sometimes he switched them to fool a killer into betraying himself.
  • In his autobiography 'Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid' Bill Bryson describes his encounters with Dewey, a vengeful labrador 'about the size of a black bear' who stalked him on his paper round.
  • In Margin Play by Eric Plume, Amber encounters a Doberman that fits this trope at Thom Cullen's house. When it rushes her, she wallops it with a rolled up Wall Street Journal.
  • In the Action Prologue of Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton, Greg Mandel has to take out an ex-police Rotweiller with monolattice silicon fangs and implanted retinas. Which is nothing to the security at the Big Fancy House where Julia Evans lives, which is guarded by genetically-enhanced panthers!
  • A wolfhound intended to be sold as one of these makes a brief appearance in Mistborn. Vin punches his lights out and feeds him to her Kandra.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of the Overdue Library Book", Nick has to work out how Sandra Paris abducted someone from a men's room that had an angry guard dog outside its only exit.
  • Oryx and Crake: Wolvogs are dogs genetically engineered to be the ultimate guard dog. They look and, from a distance, act like dogs, but if you're so stupid as to approach them, they'll rip you to shreds.
  • In The Savannah Reid Mysteries, a dog named Beowulf. He only grudgingly allows Savannah to pass after she gives him some meat. When she tries this with Hitler, Satan, and Killer in Death by Chocolate, on the other hand, the three little dogs become Savannah's best friends.
  • Carcharoth from The Silmarillion is an angry guard wolf. In this case, though, it's not so much the getting in as the going out that turns out problematic.
  • The Rat Things from Snow Crash are actually dogs upgraded with cyborg parts to dissuade intruders even more effectively.
  • For Survivor Dogs, this is bound to happen in a series starring dogs. The main example is the Fierce Dogs pack, a pack consisting of Dobermans led by the bloodthirsty Blade. They're a group of ex-guard dogs who banded together after their owners fled during an earthquake. Even the White Sheep Storm, who escaped the pack as a puppy, is more aggressive and fight happy than the other dogs in the Wild Pack.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, the High Legislator has a fierce black guard dog. The Space Marine, however, manages to tame them with a whistle. He brings along one to help with the Dark Eldar.
  • Guard dogs (implied to be Dobermans or Rottweilers) appear at the prologue of Warrior Cats: A Dangerous Path, brought to a compound by humans to find the pyromaniacs who set the forest on fire in Rising Storm. They prey on pigeons and later cats, killing off several important cats and deforming Brightpaw. This makes the cats especially unsettled as they're usually the top predators in the forest.
  • Watership Down:
    • Richard Adams' Watership Down plays the trope straight and desperate. The hero rabbits consider calling dogs much like humans might consider using an atomic bomb in a war: it destroys their enemies, but at a heavy price. In this case, they are alerting the dog and the owning farmer that there is a rabbit warren near the farm. Considering the Efrafans are fighting to massacre the Watership Down warren, that was considered the lesser of two evils.
    • In another instance of this trope in the book, the Lapine tale "Rowsby Woof and the Fairy Wogdog" presents the titular Rowsby Woof as an obstacle between El-Ahrairah and the cabbages in a human's garden.
    • Watership Down certainly plays up the fear factor from a big angry guard dog. You think they're bad? Try them when you're just a little rabbit and you're a fraction of the size.
  • World of the Five Gods: The Xarre estate is guarded by mastiffs. Penric manages to use the Weirding Voice to get past them the first time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Amazing Stories episode "Family Dog", after the dog twice fails to protect the house from burglars (he was ill the first time, got locked out by the burglars the second (, the father takes him to guard dog school. The father is unimpressed when he returns for him and the dog is as happy-go-lucky as ever. . . until the instructor snaps her fingers and the dog instantly turns into a snarling, barking beast. It pays off when the burglars return again, but works too well when he attacks the father (trying to get in after accidentally locking himself out).
  • The A-Team: In the episode "There's Always a Catch", the team encounters a ferociously barking Dobermann called Cutter while trying to buy replacement parts for the clients' boat. It's unknown whether he would have done anything more vicious because he's tied up, although the owner threatens to set him on them.
  • Dog the Bounty Hunter had a dog at the home of a bail jumper's family who dragged a truck tire it was chained to when trying to get at the team and had to be maced to make it back down.
  • The F.B.I.: In "All the Streets are Silent", a gang of heavily armed criminals are holed up inside a fenced-off motel. Two angry guard dogs prowl the yard and bark at anyone who comes close, making it impossible for the FBI to approach undetected.
  • Frasier: When Niles needs to sneak back into Maris' mansion after they separate he and Frasier are surprised to find she hasn't changed the locks or security code. As they try to leave a pair of guard dogs trap them inside. Niles tries to greet the dogs, assuming they'll recognise him as their former master, only to discover they're not the dogs he knows.
    Niles: Oh my god, she hasn't changed the locks! She changed the dogs!
  • Subverted on Hogan's Heroes. The camp's guard dogs love the P.O.W.s, and hate the guards and officers.
  • In It's Me or the Dog, Victory considers overly protective dogs to be counterproductive to home safety (as they're just as likely to menace harmless strangers, causing problems for the owners), so she re-trains these types of dogs to associate guests arriving with something good happening (i.e. delicious treats).
  • Al Mundy deals with them occasionally on It Takes a Thief (1968).
  • The protagonist of the short-lived series Lucan (who was raised by wolves) is forced to kill an attacking Doberman. The experience reduces him to tears.
  • MacGyver (1985): In "Good Knight, MacGyver", Morganna uses an angry guard dog (unconvincingly disguised as a demon) as part of her defences. Mac defeats it by MacGyvering up a dog whistle.
  • Magnum, P.I.: Robin Masters' estate, 'Robin's Nest', is occupied by two Doberman guard dogs, Zeus and Apollo. Interestingly, although Magnum is in charge of security for the estate, the dogs both belong to and answer to Higgins, not Magnum. They don't really like Magnum much.
  • Motive: In "Creeping Tom", when the police arrive at the scene of the crime, they find the Body of the Week is guaraded by an angry guard dog that barks at anyone who tries to approach the body. Later Angie realises that that while the dog barked at all the police, it did not bark when the intruder was in the house, meaning it was someone the dog knew and trusted.
  • Murder, She Wrote: The neighbour in "Angel of Death" owns an angry guard dog that barks at anyone who comes on his property. Its behaviour on the night of the murder provides Jessica with a vital clue.
  • Murdoch is attacked by one while investigating the ratting barn in the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Let Loose the Dogs".
  • Person of Interest: A neo-Nazi tries to use one to intimidate Reese. Reese explains that the dog only appears angry because it does not respect its current owner who does not know how to handle such a well trained animal properly. Reese, on the other hand worked with this type of guard dog before and knows the Dutch commands it was trained to obey. A few Dutch phrases later Reese has a new dog.
    • Though the dog only obeys commands in Dutch, he certainly understands certain words in English, like "walk", "leash", and "treats".
  • Pit Boss: Completely subverted by Hercules, Shorty's dog, who doesn't have a mean bone in his body. Same goes for most of the other pits.
  • Ditto Pit Bulls and Parolees, where even the pit breeds trained to fight dogs are very people-friendly.
  • One scene in Sons of Anarchy involves Juice and Tig trying to steal a truck from a locked compound. In order to subdue the Dobermann guarding the area, Juice is advised to drug the animal, which he does using crystal meth. Leading to a very cranky guard dog indeed.
  • Voyagers!: Bogg encounters a loudly barking German Shepherd while trying to get the gas for Lindbergh's flight.
  • In the Jim Croce song "Leroy Brown" Leroy is said to be "meaner than a junkyard dog".

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Angriest Dog in the World by David Lynch: "The dog who is so angry he cannot move. He cannot eat. He cannot sleep. He can just barely growl. Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis."
  • "Irish" Murphy's dogs in Footrot Flats: Tiger, Wolf and Creampuff.
  • Played with but generally averted in Mutts. The guard dog, while surly, rarely gets angry enough to threaten anyone. He's just as likely to elicit sympathy from being tied up all the time.
  • Inverted in Peanuts where Snoopy was terrorized by "World War II", the cat next door. Occasionally Snoopy himself would be put in this role. Performance ranged from lackluster (falling asleep while guarding Peppermint Patty) to metaphysical ('You try to warn them the world's gone mad ... ') to, and we're not kidding, More Dakka (how many guard dogs have ever mounted a machinegun to their house?!).

  • Junk Yard has Spike, who must be defeated with a toaster gun.
  • There's one inside the bank in Safe Cracker. He won't chase you out of the bank if you have a dog biscuit, however.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Subverted with the "Kennel from Hell" match during WWE's Unforgiven 1999. The idea was a steel cage match inside Hell in a Cell, where the inner cage was surrounded by vicious dogs. Turns out the dogs weren't so vicious, as they spent more time peeing and crapping on the floor and mating with each other than actually intimidating the wrestlers. The wrestlers were more in danger of slipping on the dogs' mess than being torn apart by them.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Played with in Bayonetta 2 with the Lethal Joke Item, the Chain Chomp. Just like in its own franchise, it'll bark and act like a dog, including being the only weapon Bayonetta has that will attack on its own, occasionally biting enemies (or treasure chests or even stray cats) in order to protect its new owner.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert: The Soviets have Attack Dogs, whose main purpose is sniffing out spies and murdering infantry. They become Demonic Spiders when controlled by the AI since they one-hit kill all infantry, and because units have very short reaction ranges it's entirely possible for a dog to lunge and kill two or three infantrymen before being shot down. Even worse on levels with Tanya, who doesn't auto-acquire enemies and thus needs to manually target dogs, who tend to be able to lunge faster than they can be clicked on.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, both the Allied and the Soviets have attack dogs (German Shepherds and Russian Huskies, respectively) and both are excellent scouts and able to maul most infantry to death. Some mods also give the Yuri faction its own attack dog; these are usually mutated and have poisonous bites on top of their bad temper.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Allied scout unit is the Attack Dog, a German Shepherd capable of killing infantry with its bite or paralyzing them with its amplified bark. Not to be outdone, the Soviets deploy Angry Guard Bears.
  • Crisis Beat has attack dogs showing up early in the game, near the elevator stage. They're rare enough to count as unique enemies however — they can only be fought by players using Eiji or Julia (anyone using Keneth or Yan will take a dog-less alternate route instead) and they show up in precisely one area in the whole game.
  • A very strange alien being that functions as a guard dog appears in the horror adventure game Dark Seed, in the game's Dark World. It guards a bridge and has to be lured away by throwing a stick for it to fetch.
  • Dark Judgement (a Korean Beat 'em Up game) have guard dogs in military compounds as mooks which the player can beat up.
  • Several Deus Ex missions, starting with the first Hell's Kitchen mission, feature Dobermans - they are always trained attack dogs on patrol.
  • The Dig:
    • An alien variant is revived to prevent anyone entering the tomb of the Inventor. The way to get rid of it is somewhat counter-intuitive.
    • Another one shows up right near the end once you open the Eye. In this case, the way to deal with it is rather obvious.
  • Dishonored has Wolfhounds. In the Kennels, there's a sick hound named Voracious who will attack the patrols and other hounds if released.
  • In Dragon Age II, Aggressive!Hawke can turn his/her Mabari into one of these. During Act III, a burglar will sneak into the Hawke estate and is cornered in a wardrobe by Dog. Aggressive!Hawke can order Dog to devour the burglar. Fade to Black over the burglar's bloodcurdling screams as he's torn apart.
  • The first level of Earthworm Jim, set in a garbage dump, has spinning balls of fury next to doghouses which are these.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Oddly used and subverted. Occasionally bandits will have guard dogs who sit around barking to themselves, even if you are covered in blood from their owner. They only seem to turn hostile when their owner does.
  • In The Escapists 2, each prison has kennels holding guard dogs. They are first released when the Wanted Meter reaches 2 stars, and come out in full force during a lockdown. They can run faster than inmates and cannot be stopped. Mess with them and you'll be mauled.
  • Hotline Miami : A few levels in, the Russians start getting Dobermans to patrol the area. If they spot you, they will pounce fast, so grab the closest melee weapon (since they're immune to normal bare-fisted attacks) and swing for your life.
  • Inside has dogs as common threats throughout the game. If you see or hear a dog, prepare to run like hell. They are fast, fierce, persistent, and they want you dead. One section of the game requires you to yank wooden boards off of a doorway in order to get through, all while avoiding three dogs by climbing over a nearby wire fence just before they reach you, to trick them into running back and around to the other side of the fence. Their speed and ferocity ensures you can only remove one board at a time, though.
  • The Castle of the Crown in King's Quest VI (and The Silver Lining) is guarded by a regiment of bipedal, talking dogs. They take any threat to the royal family very seriously. However, Captain of the Guards Saladin is a Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • The game features FENRIS mechs, essentially dog-shaped Mecha-Mooks.
    • Also, series-wide is the varren, which makes the nastiest dog in the world look like a Shih Tzu, being a dog-lizard alien creature with huge fangs. They're especially promenant in the second game, thanks to the Blood Pack making heavy use of them as guard beasts and food.
  • Mean Santa: Later houses have a dog sleeping in them. The dog will wake up and chase Santa, biting him if it catches him.
  • The Mental Series has one of these as an obstacle. Greg must take it out with his slingshot before you can move on.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater there are guard dogs around the Russian base that Naked Snake can kill.
  • Big Dog from Nuclear Throne, a three-headed hellhound that lies at the end of the Scrapyard area.
  • Paperboy: Break the window of a house where a dog lives, and he'll start barking furiously and chase after you.
  • In Resident Evil, the MA- 93 "Cerberus" was intended to be one of these by the Umbrella Corporation. The various types of infected canines encountered throughout the franchise serve as this, sometimes with a human handler and other times patrolling an area looking for victims to maim.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: The test of Thievery involves sneaking into Governor Marley's mansion, which involves figuring out a way past a pack of "vicious piranha poodles" guarding the front entrance.
  • Runner from Septerra Core. He's a robot dog built by Grubb, and joins your party when Grubb does. Other dogs bare their teeth; Runner bares a beam cannon.
  • Shaw's Nightmare features several of these.
  • The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Juggernauts: In the Kwik-E-Mart Doggie Dodge, Bart has to avoid angry dogs in order to get into the Kwi-E-Mart and order a special shake.
  • The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants: If you use the whistle incorrectly, a dog will appear and attack you.
  • Spyro the Dragon (1998): Sleeping Dogs are enemies found in Toasty's boss level. They are usually found asleep, but if Spyro gets near them or attacks them, they jumps to life and briefly barks before attacking via Belly Flop Crushing. They are usually accompanied by either Shepherds or Toasty himself are one of the few enemy types that can take more than one hit.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The recurring Chain Chomp enemy, first seen in Super Mario Bros. 3, is an unusual variant, looking like a black metal ball with teeth but acting and sounding like a angry dog on a chain leash. It's original Japanese name, "Wanwan", is even an onomatopoeia for a dog's bark. It's behavior was famously based on an incident from Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood where a dog lunged at him to bite him but was held back by a chain.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has Broggy, the dog of the shopkeeper Broque Monsieur. Initially annoyed enough that it was willing to take on Bowser in a Boss Battle, you actually get to walk this dog after collecting all the Blitties... translated as a new Special Attack for the rest of the game involving him and fifteen kittens swarming the enemies/bosses. It looks hilarious. note 
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King:
      • Princess, the guard Chain Chomp at Shogun Studios, is a subversion. She's introduced as an angry, snarling guard dog that prevents you from proceeding past her, but she's actually just hungry — once she's had her dinner, she's an affectionate sweetheart. Her keep still tells you to count your fingers before and after when you pet her, though.
      • Stapler is portrayed as a rabid dog whom the Big Bad sends out against you as you raid his castle, with its staples being akin to a dog's teeth. Unlike the rest of the bosses, who are quite talkative, it only makes dog-like barks and snarls.
  • TinkerQuarry: Invoked with Staya. He's a mechanical toy dog with clock parts, and he wants to keep everyone from leaving the Dollhouse. Considering his clock parts, you could say he's a literal watchdog.
  • Toe Jam And Earl in Panic on Funkotron: The game features an old lady and her poodles as enemies. The poodles start as dangerous, but if you capture the lady before them they turn into whirling balls of destruction.
  • Uninvited features two dogs guarding the church that can lunge at your throat.
  • Available in War Wind for the Marines after building a kennel. As you could suppose, it is not very useful on a planet inhabited by all kinds of monsters and alien races using heavy weaponry.
  • World of Warcraft: take a wild guess what Houndmaster Loksey of the Scarlet Crusade does in his spare time. Other Crusaders sometimes have dogs accompanying them; they seem to have picked up the Knight Templar disposition of their owners.


    Western Animation 
  • In the animated "Family Dog" episode of Amazing Stories, the dog fails to stop two burglars in two consecutive occasions, so he's taken to an obedience school where he's trained to become, in the words of the owner, "a quivering, snarling, white-hot ball of canine terror." When the burglars return, not only does the dog viciously attack them, he even follows them home. There they end up adopting him and using him to commit crimes, until there's a falling out and the dog attacks them again before returning home.
  • Shows up near the end of The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The DVD", during the scene where Gumball and Darwin are chased through the neighborhood by their mother. Gumball and Darwin run away from it. Nicole starts riding it like a horse. The dog in question looks like Domo, but quadrupedal with a tail and ears. This is used as a generic "dog" model throughout the show, including one time Gumball had to cartwheel through a yard full of them and another where he chains one up in his yard to make his house look bad.
  • In Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne has a Great Dane named Ace (not the Bat-Hound, but undoubtedly a Mythology Gag) who was actually raised for dogfighting and rescued by Bruce.
  • The Doberman at the dog pound in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, episode "To the Rescue" part 4.
  • A 1963 Daffy Duck cartoon involved Daffy trying to contact a millionare, and having to make it past the man's pet bulldog first. Daffy faced a similar situation in the 1948 cartoon "Daffy Dilly", but in "Dilly" the obstacle was the millionare's anthropomorphic dog butler.
  • Doug had an episode involving the "classic" version, a bulldog who was preventing Doug and Skeeter from getting a (borrowed and presumably expensive) frisbee out of a yard.
  • Taken to absurd lengths in Eek! The Cat, where the neighbors' yard is guarded by Sharky the Sharkdog, who is a literal shark/dog hybrid. Sharky would often go out of his way to terrorize the well-intentioned Eek!, regardless of where they were. Leading to the classic episode involving Annabel's pool in the backyard, a submarine full of ocean-exploring waterfowl parodying Jacques Cousteau, and the "Shark" part of things suddenly being much more literal.
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: Chief Suarez owns a pair of Dobermans, who would normally be Heroic Dogs if it wasn't for the fact that Suarez hates Manny for getting Frida involved in super-crimefighting, and the dogs' attitude towards Manny reflects that.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • Timmy's ploy of getting friends Chester and A.J. to rescue him from "vicious guard dogs" backfires when Cosmo and Wanda are too distracted to play the part, and the junkyard's actual vicious guard dogs go after Timmy instead.
    • Remy Buxaplenty's family owned some vicious guard dogs themselves (among them Pit Bulls).
    • Dr. Bender has one, complete with some Braces of Orthodontic Overkill.
  • Foghorn Leghorn's nemesis Barnyard Dawg is one, but that's only because Foggy makes him angry all the time.
  • Garfield and Friends had Garfield citing the Angry Guard Dog as an especially annoying trope, since he never understood why a dog would automatically defend a mouse or immediately attack a cat for no reason. (Garfield thinks that dogs are ruled by their stupid instincts. Garfield himself does run afoul of dogs occasionally, but it's usually after baiting them.)
  • Bronx from Gargoyles is both this and a Big Friendly Dog, depending on situation or who is around.
  • The only person who can keep The Grim Reaper's dog Cerberus in check is Mandy. She could send the dog in the photo image up top running for his dog house.
  • The Looney Tunes "Sam the Sheepdog" cartoons subverted this; Sam protects the sheep but has no personal animosity toward the wolf, as a Punch Clock Hero — in one, we see them both punching out mid-fight, having lunch, and getting back into position afterwards.
  • Los Trotamúsicos: Attila is the guard dog of the three robbers in this adaptation of The Bremen Town Musicians, but generally a very weak and incompetent dog.
  • Mr. Bogus:
  • Cerberus comes to visit Ponyville in an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's placated by Fluttershy.
    Fluttershy: Who's the cute little three-headed dog? Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy?
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches: Bob. In a few episodes, he actually IS a guard.
  • The earliest example might be in Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, episode "Weary Willies" (1929), with hobos Oswald and Pete trying to get a roasted turkey off of a suburban windowsill. Blocking the way is a fierce bulldog who, after several typical blackout gags, is ultimately sent chasing after the cop who'd been pursuing Oswald and Pete for vagrancy earlier. Remade by Yogi Bear as Pie Pirates (1959), with a few gags reused verbatim, and lampooned by The Ren & Stimpy Show (see below) decades later.
  • The Pink Panther has come across a few such dogs in a fenced yard, such as in "The Pink Package Plot" (a terrorist was forcing the Panther to deliver a package containing a Time Bomb to an estate) and "Spark Plug Pink" (where a spark plug the Panther needs to get his lawn mower going accidentally lands in the dog's yard amongst his bones).
  • The Slimer! segments of The Real Ghostbusters frequently had Slimer having to get past an aggressive guard dog named Bruiser.
  • ReBoot has Frisket, a super strong dog that only listened to Enzo. He absolutely hated Bob, which is used as a Call-Back when Bob returns from the Web. Frisket sees a "stranger" and growls, then sniffs and learns it is Bob, then goes back to growling.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show played with this in "A Yard Too Far". After Ren (himself an Angry Guard Dog in the series) realizes that attempts by him and Stimpy to steal food from a windowsill are too similar to a golden-age cartoon plot for his comfort, he immediately sends Stimpy (a cat) to scout and flush out the obligatory guard dog. Stimpy returns and assures him there is no dog. Ren goes into the yard, and is promptly mauled by a guard baboon.
  • The Pickles live next door to one such dog on Rugrats, often mentioned but only seen twice — three times if you count the Whole Episode Flashback before it became the ferocious "monster dog" the babies had come to know.
  • The Secret World of Benjamin Bear: The Biggleboar family has Chomper, a vicious Doberman Pinscher who doesn't like Benjamin or Howie.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Mr. Burns has a pack of these at the ready whenever his guests have overstayed their welcome. Or if he needs a good chuckle.
      Burns: Smithers, release the hounds!
    • Although they do get old and tired, leading Burns to reminisce about one dog's attack on his first hippie:
      Burns: That hippie didn't think that was too grooovy.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants once had to get past a vicious junkyard guard worm, giant worms being the "underwater" equivalent of dogs.
  • Stoppit and Tidyup has nasty little Not Now, who is a small yappy one for the big bad I Said No.
  • On one Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird cartoon, Granny seems to have hundreds of guard dogs in her backyard, all of which Sylvester has to get through to catch Tweety.
    • The guard dog design used in the short was also made into a single recurring character who often antagonised Sylvester (named Hector in later media). Incidentally Hector's design was also reused as Marc Anthony in Marc Anthony And Pussyfoot series, who, despite his best attempts, is anything but.
  • Arnold the security dog from Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • Tom and Jerry: The most famous example is probably Spike the Bulldog from these cartoon shorts. When Spike's popularity caused a softening of the character, the writers merely gave him other reasons to attack Tom (a misunderstanding, trying to set an example to his son about how dogs act, a Papa Wolf attitude toward those messing with said son, etc.)
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "The Demon", the titular "demon" is the dog of Chloe's neighbor, a crazed monster that rips to shreds anything it gets a hold of. It also turns out to be a tiny French Bulldog, albeit a savage, hyperactive one. She and Ice Bear sneak in when the dog gets her hoodie. In the end, they discover that wearing the hoodie calms it down, so they let him have it, much to the delight of the neighbor.

    Real Life 
  • Although most watch dogs are not true guard dogs, but are rather intended to alert the owner of any trespassers, this aggressive variant is not that rare with many a well-protected compound (whether civilian or military) or private home, especially gated properties.
    • There have also been an amount of even more aggressive examples of dogs being trained for outright attacking on a battlefield (an ancestor breed to modern-day Mastiffs, Molossus have been said to have been used for the purpose by the ancient Greeks and Romans), though the examples of them serving as a remotely noteworthy portion of one side of a battlefield's punch are very uncommon compared to cavalry, and are dwarfed by attack dogs used for sentry duty or sniff out hiding enemies...not to mention the dietary requirements of a large number of dogs was probably beyond most invading armies' logistical capabilities. Their use to attack on the battlefield likely more relied on the negative psychological effect of being hounded (no pun intended) by a large pack of vicious, snarling dogs given that a trained, shielded ancient warrior (let alone a modern one with a gun and bayonet) shouldn't have too much trouble fighting off a dog.
  • From the book The Truth About Self-Defense written by law enforcement training instructor Massad F. Ayoob:
    • WATCHDOGS ...A mobile, four-footed burglar alarm. [They] bark insistently and steadily when an entry is attempted, and ... [go] to the entry point to pinpoint it for you.
    • PROTECTION DOGS are animals with advanced obedience training. On your command, they will bark and lunge at an aggressor, snapping at him without actually biting him. Also upon your command, they will immediately sit or lie and fall silent. Their training is oriented strictly toward a deterrent show of force; if your attacker persists, the animal will have to fall back on its natural protective instinct and bite him. A properly trained protection dog will also perform all the functions of a watchdog.
    • ATTACK DOGS have been trained to sink their teeth into people on their master's command, or when they observe their master under assault. Once resistance from the suspect ceases, a true attack dog will let go of him. It will do the same on command, no matter how excitement-charged the atmosphere, if it has been properly trained and selected. Normally, the dog will only bite if given the proper command, or if the animal sees its owner or a family member under attack. The attack dog is at the maximum level of obedience training. After the master has ordered it to put a suspect on point, the dog can be called back, and even ordered to "make friends." It feels no personal animosity toward the person it is ordered to attack; it is a canine technician, doing a job on the orders of its human boss.
    • GUARD DOGS represent the deadliest level of canine training. These animals either walk with a sentry, or patrol alone in an enclosed space. Their function is to apprehend and neutralize any human intruder. They do not stop biting when the suspect stops resisting; they stop only when the human stops MOVING. They are likely to be trained to go for the throat or genitals. Guard dogs are trained to kill and maim. The only legitimate use of a guard dog is in wartime, or when guarding an area so sensitive that human intrusion could result in awesome public danger, such as a nuclear weapons facility.
      • To give an idea of how hard they can be to control, when some countries put their pilots through their equivalent of Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training, they sometimes use both their military's guard/tracking dogs and the local Search And Rescue units SAR dogs, allowing them to both train the pilots in evasion and the SAR dogs in tracking. The SAR dogs are almost always allowed off leash to track, and will be happy when they find the pilot, bark to alert their handlers, and be extremely friendly towards their "prey". The military guard dogs are never let off leash for this training, and pilots are often told that, should they have to deal with an actual enemy's military dogs, often the only way to escape one that's found you is to let them bite your arm, lift your arm and the dog up (often rendering that arm useless afterwards), then kill the dog, sacrificing your arm for a chance at escape. And even if you manage that, the enemy soldiers will most likely be close by, have heard the dog, are now on their way to get you, you're down an arm, and the enemy unit on it's way probably contains the dog's handler, who isn't going to be happy that you killed their dog.
  • Shepherd dogs or, generally, livestock guard dogs are born and bred to be deadly guard dogs in the literal sense of the word - able to kill a wolf single-handedly, or, in a pack of 3-4 dogs, maul and drive away a brown bear. There are photos of Caucasian Shepherds or Turkish Kangals having torn away the throat of a wolf. They are emphatically not the same thing as their pet brothers, even if they are the same breed. A true shepherd dog is too dangerous, aggressive and uncontrollable to be sold to city people as a pet.


Video Example(s):


Attack Dog

Alert, well-trained German Shepherds with lethal bites. Can sniff out enemy spies.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / AngryGuardDog

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